Prandelli pleased with character

Cesare Prandelli feels Italy are showing the required tenacity, despite a less than convincing victory over Armenia.

Last Updated: 13/10/12 at 13:00 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  World Cup Europe Qualifiers. Click here to bet.

Cesare Prandelli: Wary of difficult group

Cesare Prandelli: Wary of difficult group

Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli feels the Azzurri are showing the required tenacity, despite witnessing a less than convincing World Cup qualifying victory over Armenia on Friday night.

The European Championship runners-up may top Group B courtesy of two wins and a draw, but concerns over a lack of ruthlessness in the Azzurri forward line remain, with a resolute Denmark side visiting Milan on Tuesday night.

Hrayr Mkoyan's handball allowed Andrea Pirlo to nudge the Azzurri ahead from the spot in Yerevan, only for Shakhtar Donetsk's Henrik Mkhitaryan to drive in an equaliser in the 27th minute.

But Pirlo turned provider in the second half, setting up Daniele De Rossi to head home, with Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo making the points safe 10 minutes from time with his own header.

After the match, Prandelli told figc.com: "As I've said before, our group is a difficult one and tonight proved that.

"We played a good game, showing a lot of character and taking a few risks.

"They came at us a few times but we always had control of the game and were clinical in front of goal.

"We started well and created four great chances on goal early on.

"The team showed the will to win right until the very last minute and that kind of attitude is very important."

The former Fiorentina boss was not impressed, though, with referee Marijo Strahonja's decision to play on while defender Christian Maggio lay prostrate following a heavy collision.

"When two players clash their heads together, you have to stop the game," he added.

Osvaldo registered his third Italy goal when rubber-stamping victory in Armenia, and was quick to stress his commitment to the cause.

He said: "It was an important goal that allowed us to relax a bit towards the end.

"I always go out there to give my best and, when the call comes, I give my all for both Roma and the national side.

"Hard work pays off and you could see that out on the pitch.

"You can say anything you like about me, but never that I'm not committed."

Zenit St Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito was delighted to return to the international set-up after a lengthy absence.

"It's difficult to come back after six months away but wearing the blue shirt again was incredible," he added.

"We played a great game, we started very well and we almost always had possession of the ball."

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